A Dutch Reporter Who Lined Gangsters Dies After Being Shot In Amsterdam
THE HAGUE, Netherlands Peter R. de Vries, a famend Dutch journalist who fearlessly reported at the violent underworld of the Netherlands and campaigned to respire new lifestyles into chilly instances, has died at age 64 after being shot in a brazen assault remaining week, his circle of relatives stated Thursday.
“Peter fought to the end, but was unable to win the battle,” the circle of relatives stated in a commentary despatched to Dutch media.
While the reason for De Vries’ taking pictures stays unknown, the July 6 assault on an Amsterdam boulevard had the hallmarks of the gangland hits happening with expanding regularity within the Dutch underworld the journalist coated.
Two suspects were detained. Dutch police stated the suspected shooter is a 21-year-old Dutchman, and a 35-year-old Polish guy residing within the Netherlands is accused of using the getaway automotive. They have been arrested no longer lengthy after De Vries was once wounded.
De Vries rose swiftly from a tender cub reporter to transform the Netherlands’ best-known journalist. He was once a pillar of strengthen for households of slain or lacking kids, a campaigner towards injustice and a thorn within the facet of gangsters.
“Peter has lived by his conviction: ‘On bended knee is no way to be free,'” the circle of relatives commentary stated. “We are unbelievably proud of him and at the same time inconsolable.”
De Vries have been combating for his lifestyles in an Amsterdam sanatorium for the reason that assault. The commentary stated he died surrounded via family members and asked privateness for De Vries’ circle of relatives and spouse “to process his death in peace.” Funeral preparations weren’t right away introduced.
De Vries had performed a job within the trial of a criminal offense gang
The taking pictures took place after De Vries made certainly one of his common appearances on a present affairs tv display. He had just lately been an adviser and confidant for a witness within the trial of the alleged chief and different individuals of a criminal offense gang that police described as an “oiled killing machine.”
The suspected gangland chief, Ridouan Taghi, was once extradited to the Netherlands from Dubai in 2019. He stays jailed whilst status trial in conjunction with 16 different suspects.
Caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte led the tributes to De Vries within the Netherlands.
“Peter R. de Vries was always dedicated, tenacious, afraid of nothing and no one. Always seeking the truth and standing up for justice,” Rutte stated in a tweet. “And that makes it all the more dramatic that he himself has now become the victim of a great injustice.”
Dutch King Willem Alexander remaining week referred to as the taking pictures of De Vries “an attack on journalism, the cornerstone of our constitutional state and therefore also an attack on the rule of law.”
The slaying additionally struck a chord in different places in Europe, the place murders on journalists are uncommon and the place the killings of newshounds in Slovakia and Malta in recent times raised issues about journalists’ protection in advanced, democratic societies.
“We might disagree with a lot we see in our media, but we have to agree that journalists investigating potential abuses of power are not a threat but an asset to our democracies and our societies,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen informed European Parliament lawmakers remaining week.
De Vries gained an International Emmy in 2008 for a tv display he made in regards to the disappearance of U.S. teen Natalee Holloway whilst she was once on vacation within the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba in 2005.
His occupation was once spent reporting on one of the Netherlands’ maximum infamous crimes
In 2018, whilst appearing as a spokesman for the circle of relatives of an 11-year-old boy who was once abused and killed in 1998, De Vries appealed for pointers in regards to the whereabouts of a suspect known in a DNA probe.
“I can’t live with the idea that he won’t be arrested,” De Vries stated when interesting for lend a hand at a televised press convention. “I won’t rest until it happens.”
The suspect was once arrested a couple of weeks later in Spain and convicted remaining yr within the demise of the boy, Nicky Verstappen.
De Vries’ remark in regards to the suspect in Nicky’s slaying summed up the tenacity that was once a cornerstone of a occupation that noticed him record on one of the Netherlands’ maximum infamous crimes, together with the 1983 kidnapping of beer rich person Freddy Heineken.
Acting on a tip, De Vries tracked down one of the crucial kidnappers in Paraguay in 1994.
He befriended any other of the abductors, Cor van Hout, who was once later gunned down in Amsterdam. Another of the abductors, Willem Holleeder, who was once van Hout’s brother-in-law, was once convicted in 2019 of inciting the killings of van Hout and 4 other folks. Holleeder was once sentenced to lifestyles imprisonment.
De Vries additionally was once identified for tenaciously campaigning to seek out the reality in the back of the 1994 slaying of a 23-year-old girl, Christel Ambrosius. Two males from town the place she was once killed have been convicted in 1995 and sentenced to ten years imprisonment, however De Vries refused to consider they have been accountable.
They have been acquitted in 2002, and in 2008, any other guy was once convicted of Ambrosius’ killing.
Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus issued a commentary calling De Vries “a brave man who lived without compromise. He would not allow himself to be intimidated by criminals.”
Grapperhaus stated he “tracked down injustice throughout his life. By doing so he made an enormous contribution to our democratic state. He was part of its foundation.”